LLB Law

Law provides the framework for modern society, impacting on all our lives. Studying for an LLB is an intellectually demanding and thought-provoking experience. This programme will help you develop an enquiring and critical attitude to law, learn to think logically and communicate clearly. The skills you will acquire throughout the degree are transferable and as a result you will enjoy excellent employment prospects in both law and non-law careers. 

Birmingham Law School is the most established law school in one of the largest legal communities in the country. For over 85 years we have made a major contribution to teaching and scholarship, and you’ll learn from academics who are leaders in their fields and the authors of many key works used by practitioners today. 

Course fact file

UCAS code: M100

Duration: 3 years

Places Available: 280

Applications in 2013: 1600

Typical Offer: AAA and a satisfactory performance in LNAT (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Details

Photo of a female student studying at the University of Birmingham

At Birmingham, you’ll benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you’re a fully supported and active learner. Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that’s highly sought after by employers in both law and non-law sectors. The courses are also very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress.

The LLB programme enables you to look at law from a number of perspectives; practical and technical, and philosophical and theoretical. You’ll study the core subjects in your first two years, along with Jurisprudence (legal theory), and your final year is entirely devoted to giving you a broad choice of specialist optional modules which reflect staff research interests. 

Why study this course

  • Transferable skills - A law degree prepares you for a wide range of careers
  • Employability - Birmingham is one of the top universities in the UK for graduate employment
  • Extensive opportunities - including mootingpro bono and debating
  • Professional links - placement schemes, annual law fair, visits to leading firms
  • Dedicated facilities - including the Harding Law Library and Law common room
  • Student Experience - see what our students have to say about our degrees

Modules

First year

We assume that you have no prior knowledge of the law, so the programme starts with lectures and discussion groups on the legal system, legal sources and methods of reasoning. You'll then take the following compulsory law modules: Public LawCriminal LawLaw of Contract, and the Law of Torts. These are assessed by a mixture of traditional examinations, essays and projects.

Second year

You'll complete your study of the core law subjects by taking modules in  Land LawLaw of Trusts and Equity and Legal Foundations of the European Union. You will also study Jurisprudence, which develops your understanding of the philosophical side of law in a formal and systematic way.

Third year

Your final year is entirely dedicated to optional modules with a choice from a broad range of over 30 modules spanning the entire law spectrum; from the highly technical to the sociological; from the procedural to the political; from the historical to the contemporary; and from the domestic to the international.

20-credit optional modules normally available from Birmingham Law School include:

There is also the option to write a dissertation on a prescribed legal topic.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2014 are:

  • Home/EU students - £9,000 p.a
  • International students - £12,565 p.a

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships

  • The Law School offers subject specific scholarships for international students of £3,000 p.a. Full details of how to apply can be found on our scholarships page

Entry requirements

Typical offer: AAA and a satisfactory performance in LNAT

Additional information:

General Studies is not accepted but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer.

  • Applicants taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma require: 36 points (including 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level)
  • All applicants will be required to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) 

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Birmingham Law School has a thriving community of over 150 international students across our LLB programmes. All international qualifications which are equivalent to A-Level will be considered for entry. Learn more about international entry requirements

If your first language is not English you must provide an English language qualification. Recognised qualifications include:

  • IELTS: 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 95 with no less than 22 in any band

If you need to improve your level of English in order to meet the minimum entry-level requirement you may be able attend one of the full-time courses run by our English for International Students Unit.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com

Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

Photograph of students consulting books in the University of Birmingham library

As a Birmingham student, you are joining the academic elite and have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts in their fields. Learning here at the Law School is research-led, drawing upon the expertise of staff to provide excellent teaching. We regard teaching and research as inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing. Our staff are frequent participants in legal debates and contribute regularly to the policy-making process.

Our teaching reflects original thought and insight which has helped to shape the contours of the discipline of law. Respondents to the National Student Survey have acknowledged the enthusiasm of our staff and their ability to explain things clearly and make material intellectually stimulating. We encourage all our students to challenge us and draw their own conclusions.

Central to Learning and Teaching in the Law School at the University of Birmingham is critical enquiry, debate and self-motivation, summed up by the term enquiry-based learning.

Enquiry-based learning describes an environment in which learning is driven by the shared enquiry of students and tutors. This approach will enable you to take control of your own learning as you progress through your degree. Moreover, it will encourage you to acquire essential skills that are highly valued in the competitive employment sector: creativity, independence, team-working, goal-setting and problem-solving. Enquiry-based learning places you at the centre of your own learning process so that you learn through involvement and ownership and not simply by listening.

What you can expect?

Throughout your Law degree you can expect about 13 hours of contact time per week made up of approximately ten hours of lectures and three hours of seminars. During your first year you will undergo a formal transition review to see how you are getting on and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Lectures

Lectures are an important method of teaching used in the School, intended to provide a structured framework for learning and dispensing essential knowledge. They won't tell you all you need to know, but they should help you to navigate the reading you're expected to undertake to pursue your studies effectively. A good lecture can be an eye-opening and mind-broadening experience.

Seminars

Seminars are smaller group classes, which involve the development and testing of ideas in discussion, with a high degree of student input. A successful class is one in which the module teacher says very little, intervening only to comment, steer and occasionally inform or correct.

Seminars are not ‘mini-lectures’. In all seminars you are expected to be prepared and to participate. They provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas, and all students are expected to be able to participate actively. This is tremendously important at university level and will help you to clarify and extend your understanding of the topics you are studying, as well as develop confidence in expressing yourself orally.

Seminars in law also provide an opportunity to learn the difficult but vital skill of applying the law to factual situations.  This is assessed in exams through ‘problem questions’. For your seminars directed to this skill you will be given the facts of problem questions in advance, and you devote time to working out your own answers beforehand, then testing those answers in argument during the seminar.

Assessment methods

Birmingham Law School uses a variety of methods to assess student performance, this includes exams, essays and dissertations. At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study.

  • Examinations take place in the summer term (May/June) and core modules are typically assessed by a 3-hour exam with optional modules assessed by a 2-hour exam. There are no January exams at Birmingham Law School.
  • Essays vary in length (1000-4000 words) depending on whether the essay is only part of the assessment for the subject or whether the subject is assessed 100% by essay.
  • Dissertations are individual research projects into a specific topic and vary in length (up to 10,000 words) depending on the credit value of the subject which is being assessed by dissertation.

A number of prizes are available for outstanding performance in assessments at the end of each academic year. Many of these prizes are sponsored by law firms across the UK.

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

Feedback

Developing skills and enhancing academic performance is a key part of a university education and the Law School provide feedback on your work throughout your degree. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. To enhance the student learning experience, the Law School provides the following:

  • Individual feedback on academic performance is provided during progress review meetings with your personal tutor throughout the year.
  • All academic members of staff will have feedback and office hours during which you can see them without prior appointment and speak to them on a 1-1 basis to discuss feedback or other academic support you may require.
  • Individual feedback on both assessed and non-assessed essays within four weeks of submission. This feedback will cover
    • What was done well
    • What was not done well
    • How the above relate to the mark achieved and the marking criteria
    • What could be done to improve the next piece of work.
  • Generic feedback on examination papers will be offered to students following the publication of results in June each year.
  • In addition to generic feedback, individual feedback is offered to all students who have failed and are entitled to re-sit the examination.

Legal Skills Advisory Service (LSAS)

In addition to the feedback you will receive from academic staff, our Legal Skills Advisory Service will help you develop skills particular to studying law. We run daily drop-in sessions and weekly workshops open to all undergraduate Law students. LSAS will help you to develop skills which are crucial to legal study. Workshops include:

  • How to prepare for seminars and lectures
  • How to answer essay and problem questions
  • How to read cases and articles
  • How to learn from feedback and tackling common mistakes
  • How to manage your time effectively
  • How to prepare for exams

Employability

Photo of a job application with a pencil 

Law graduates have great career potential both within and outside of the legal profession. Graduates develop a variety of transferable skills through their studies, such as oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills. Combined with a strong academic background, these skills are highly valued by employers.

Many of our students go on to the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course to become solicitors and barristers or work in public administration, industry and other professional areas. Students who choose to pursue further study to enhance their employability often continue on to one of the LLM programmes at Birmingham.

Links to the Legal Profession

The Law School maintains strong links with the professional world, through our network of alumni and contacts in the barristers’ and solicitors’ professions. These links allow us to put on a series of law careers events throughout the academic year.

Law students are encouraged to get involved in activities to develop their skills and professional insight, and there are numerous opportunities to do so. The Law School offers a unique combination of schemes to students, including a First Year Placement Scheme and a “Law in the City” event for second years. Many students who have participated in these schemes during their degrees have gone on to secure training contracts at major law firms around the country.

The Law School also organises “Law in Practice” seminars, in which practitioners explain to students how the area of law relevant to a specific module works in practice. These are invaluable opportunities for students to enhance their studies, and enable them to improve their commercial awareness.

The Careers Network

The Careers Network organises regular events including presentations by top law firms and the annual Law Fair. It also runs workshops to help students prepare effective applications and to prepare for their next move. Its events on non-law careers, including journalism, marketing and working with charities, can be of interest to law students.

Mooting

The Law School organises a range of mooting opportunities and all students have the opportunity to participate (a moot is a mock trial of a legal issue). The Moot Room was refurbished in 2011 and is now a state-of-the-art court room, complete with audio-visual equipment for recording moots. The Law School operates four mooting competitions, and students regularly represent the University at regional and national competitions, with notable success.

Pro Bono

The Birmingham Law School Pro Bono Group provides free legal services for the local community, and gives law students the opportunity to develop the practical legal skills that they will need for their careers. The Group currently runs the Birmingham Free Legal Advice Group, the StreetLaw Project (students give presentations on various aspects of the law to audiences that would like information about their rights and responsibilities), and the Pro Bono Lecture Series.

Professional accreditation

This degree is a ‘qualifying’ degree; this means that it provides exemption from the first or academic stage of the examinations required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board before you can qualify as a solicitor or barrister.

Barristers

In order to practise in England and Wales the intending barrister must first join an Inn of Court. Many students do this while taking their degree. The School has its own Inns of Court Students’ Association from which details can be obtained about joining an Inn. On successful completion of the degree intending barristers must take a further one-year full-time course, the Bar Professional Training Course leading to the second part of the Bar examination. There then follows a one-year period of Pupillage – a form of apprenticeship in a barrister’s chambers.

Solicitors

On completion of their degree intending solicitors  take a one-year full-time course. This is called the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Thereafter, there is a two-year training contract (apprenticeship in a firm of solicitors), all or most of which must be taken after completing the LPC. Fuller information on both the Bar and the Solicitors’ professions is given in the Law School Handbook. The official bodies, from which complete particulars should be sought, are as follows:

The Council of Legal Education
4 Gray’s Inn Place
London
WC1R 5DX

The Law Society Education and Training Department
Ipsley Court
Redditch
Worcestershire
B98 OTD